I've been reading in the "No incentives" thread, which I am very interested in, and got to thinking. Some (mis)behaviors have easily discernable logical consequences (talking to neighbor: move away from group. Wasting classtime/not on task: uses own time (recess) to finish work...) but some are more difficult. So...
How do you implement logical consequences to these examples:
• Blurting out in class or not raising hand and waiting to be called on
• Calling another student a name
• Stealing / lying
• Disrespect toward teacher or other student
• Spitting on their desk (yes, that has happened in my room)
MrsG... you have a really great point! I always struggle with this. I usually consider blurting out to be more a self-control issue, and if I have talked with a child multiple times, privately, and he/she still continues to word bump with me and others, I usually institute some type of secret signal between he and I or a little goal program for them. I treat it this way b/c I don't consider it so much a behavior--conscious choice, as a matter of self control. (at least in first grade)
If the behavior is one that is done to someone else, my basic rule of thumb is that they have to make it better. However, we also have to teach kids that you CAN'T take back mean words or actions. Someone else on this site mentioned the activity with crumpling a heart to show how each mean word can be flattened out but never actually gone. So, I guess what I'm saying is that if a child calls a name or is disrespectful, I think they have to apoligize. Since that's not usually enough, this is where I use more of think sheet. (I do NOT use think sheets very often-- only in extreme circumstances and for things like this where the consquence is not substantial). A think sheet requires that not only does the child have to state what they said that was so hurtful, but re-word it or imagine that they were in the same position again, given the chance to make a different choice.
Still, it's never cut and dry with this job, is it???
I've used it with both 1st and 2nd graders, and it's only in about Jan. of 2nd that I have them do the writing. I don't want writing to become the punishment. I usually takes us about 4-5 minutes at the end of the day to talk over what happened and I write it in first person (their words).
Logical consequences to me mean that the person does what makes sense to fix the misbehavior. So in the case of stealing, the child returns the object and appologizes. If it becomes a pattern then its time to come up with a plan for that particular child or try to figure out why its happening. As far as spitting on the desk or any other "defamation" of property, I have them clean it. If you make a mess, the "logical" thing to do is clean up your mess. Again, if it continues to be a problem it will need to be addressed individually.
Hope this helps!
**Blurting out in class or not raising hand and waiting to be called on--holding hand over mouth for a period of time (like 1-2 minutes) as a reminder of the expectations (though for students who habitually have this issue, I agree with the above poster who mentioned this issue).
**Calling another student a name--Writing a letter of apology which is approved by me prior to submiting it to the other student.
**Stealing--Lunch or recess "conference" with teacher, Return/Replace item or pay for item
**lying--Lunch or recess conference to discuss the issue
**Disrespect toward teacher or other student--automatic removal from the classroom (I do not tolerate disrespect in my class).
• Spitting on their desk--Disinfecting (using spray cleaner) desks.
Jim Fay is, I think, the King of Logical Consequences. I have several of his books and CDs. In each, he describes ways to help a child solve their own problem with logical consequences.
I would highly recommend checking him out if you haven't yet. Buying the CDs and books can be expensive, but most libraries have, at least, Parenting with Love and Logic and Teaching with Love and Logic.
Thanks, all! I guess I have pretty much been using logical consequences all along. They are really just common sense: make a mess, clean it up. I guess it just seemed too simple to me and there should be.... more.
Now... How is this all reported to parents? Daily/weekly calendar? Just keep track and if/when an issue comes up with parents then you have a paper trail? I know major infractions, you'd want to let parents know, but the minor stuff??
I know a lot of others do, but I wouldn't do anything on any kind of basis. I think you should continue to what you are doing; let them know when something major goes on, or if there is a pattern emerging that you want to brainstorm solutions for. I also think that it's great that you keep a paper trail for yourself, but keep it away, and only take it out if needed.
I just think that sending home behavior is too much for the teacher and I think it puts the emphasis in the wrong place. We should expect respectful, engaged learners and parents don't need to know about every little minor thing they do. That just magnifies little things and gives kids a negative picture of themselves as learners. Part of school is socialization, and so I think that it should be kept in school unless we need the parents help for special circumstances.
I totally agree with your post on parent communication! That is my exact philosophy! I told my parents at orientation that they should take the no news is good news approach and if we were having a major problem I would be in touch.
That does sound easier (less work for over-worked me!) But I'm at a private school and parents want to know EVERYTHING that is happening with their child. Think there is a tactful way around these parents with not telling them every little thing their child does wrong?
If a parent wants to know everything that their child does maybe you could have a typed sheet made up with a check list on it. "Like I had a great day!" and put a check by it if they did. This is much easier for you and maybe will soothe the parent.
I know checklists work for some, but I don't believe in reporting on each child's behavior everyday. Every day is a good day-- even when kids make mistakes, we handle them together in class. It's all part of the learning process. The think sheet is easier for me personally, because I hardly ever ever send one home. When I do, it guides the child and I through a meaningful conversation. I'm glad your checklist works for you, though! I know a lot of people who use something like that.
Jen- a think sheet is just a form that tells a parent when something happens at school that is severe enough that they have to be informed. It typically provides a space for words or pictures of what happened and another of a better choice for the future. Texas Gal attached mine above in this thread.
I don't believe in daily behaviour checklists. It would just take far too much time and I don't think it would be all that valuable. I try to send home one or two positive notes each day, so that when I do have to communicate with a parent about negative behaviour, it doesn't seem like I'm always the bearer of bad news.
As for logical consequences, I like them because they're tailor-made for the situation. When I'm deciding on a consequence with a child, the first question I usually ask is "How can you fix this?". Logical consequences should be reasonable, respectful and related. This year I'm also going to aim for helpful.
Sorry, I just realized that I didn't even answer your question! This is how I would deal with these situations:
Blurting out in class or not raising hand and waiting to be called on
- Set up a secret signal between me and the child so that I can let him/her know that I see him/her, but that I want her to wait.
- "Lip-reading". I do this for mental math. I'll have the children mouth the answer to me without making any noise. It's actually really easy to lip-read numbers and it allows all kids to answer instead of just the quickest.
- Pair-share. I often ask kids to share with a buddy for 30 seconds before we discuss as a group. This gives everyone the chance to talk.
Calling another student a name
- Apology of action. Often "sooooo-rry" isn't enough to repair hurt feelings. In a case like this, the child has to find a way to fix the situation. Often it's a letter, a drawing, a special invitation to play together at recess, help with something, etc.
Stealing / lying
- replace it and apologize. If necessary, apology of action.
Disrespect toward teacher or other student
- same as above. A child being disrespectful in my class automatically goes to time-out so that they can regain control of themselves. We discuss the problem after, once everyone's cooled down a bit.
Spitting on their desk (yes, that has happened in my room)
- clean the desk.